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How Long Does Adderall Stay in Your System?

Adderall is a prescription drug used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Narcolepsy. It is composed of Amphetamine salts, dextroamphetamine (75%) and levoamphetamine (25 %). These two components act by increasing the level of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Dextroamphetamine is said to be a more potent Central Nervous Stimulant then Levoamphetamine. The cardiovascular effects and peripheral changes are more pronounced due to the action of Levoamphetamine. The drug comes in multiple formats like IR tablets and XR encapsulation. The effect of tablet continues for four to six hours and eight to twelve hours in case of extended release capsules. Adderall carries a high potential for abuse and addiction. The tablets are crushed, snorted, and injected for achieving the higher effects. There are many tests available that can detect the levels of the drug in the body.

How long does Adderall stay in your system?

After quitting Adderall, there is a set of withdrawal symptoms that is experienced by an individual. A person undergoes three phases after the final dose: Adderall crash, Adderall withdrawal, and Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS). The third phase is mostly observed in heavy users of the drug. The half-life of Adderall is calculated from the constituents of the drug. It is composed of dextroamphetamine and the levoamphetamine. The half life of dextroamphetamine is 10-12 hours. The half life of Levoamphetamine is calculated to be 11 – 14 hours. So, researchers have estimated the half-life of Adderall to be 55-66 hours or 2.29-2.75 days.

It is considered that within 3-4 days the drug will be completely eliminated from the system. There can be some exceptions that may further increase the time of drug stay in the system. These include any medical condition that is interfering with metabolism and excretion or the person has been abusing heavy doses for longer durations.

Factors that influence how long Adderall stays in your system:

There are many factors that can account for the time duration of elimination of Adderall from the body. It is important to take in notice all these factors before accurately estimating the time interval. Some of the basic factors and their influence on the drug excretion timeline are discussed as follows.

Individual Factors:

If two individuals take a 20 mg capsule at the same time without having a prior exposure to the drug, the duration for which the drug will stay in their systems will be different based on the following factors.

  • Age: It has been found that children can eliminate Adderall from the body at faster rates as compared to adults. The half life gets shortened by one to two hours in children.
  • Body Composition:The fat content, muscle mass, weight, and height also determine the duration of drug stay in the body. Adderall is hydrophilic, which means the drug has a propensity for water and will not get accumulated in fat tissues. A high-fat mass with low muscle mass tends to increase the elimination rate of drug. Muscles are associated with more water storage and hence, more conservation of Adderall.
  • Co-administered drugs:Adderall can interact with many drugs. It has been found that any MAO inhibitor will prolong the metabolism and delay the process of removal from the body. Sodium bicarbonate and acetazolamide also slow down the process whereas acidifying substances can accelerate the excretion of the drug from the body.
  • Food Intake: Adderall has a faster absorption on an empty stomach than a stomach filled with high fatty food. The concentration of amphetamine isomer will reach maximum levels in 5-5.5 hours. In the presence of fatty food, the time changes to 7.7-8 hours.
  • Gastrointestinal PH and urinary PH: The alkalinity is associated with a slow speed of elimination. A ph above 6 can increase the half-life of drug and allow it to stay for longer durations in the body.
  • Genetics: The basic enzyme involved in Adderall metabolism is CYP2D6. Its regulatory functions are determined by CYP26D gene. Some people are rapid CYP2D6 metabolizers and some are poor metabolizers. The timeframe of drug excretion will differ in both the cases.

Hydration:

Drinking more water will increase the urinary flow rate. It is also based on the type of water, alkaline water will slow down the rate and acidic water will augment the rate.

Kidney Functions:

Kidneys are involved in the process of drug elimination through urine. The sub-optimal renal functions can impair this process. It is further based on the degree of malfunctioning of kidneys.

Liver Functions:

Adderall is metabolized in the liver. All the major enzymatic breakdowns of the drug occur in the liver. Any impairment due to a disease or trauma can affect the rate of metabolism and excretion of the drug from the body.

Dosages:

The high doses of Adderall will consume a significant amount of time in getting metabolized and excreted in comparison to smaller doses.

Frequency:

Chronic users are suspected to Adderall accumulation, which slows down the process of excretion. Moreover, chronic users have developed the tolerance levels so it can be predicted that they are taking higher doses, which further add up to the slow-elimination rate.

Adderall absorption, metabolism, and excretion:

The maximum concentration of Adderall in the blood is reached within 2 hours. The two isomeric constituents of Adderall, levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine get absorbed at almost similar rates. A high fatty food alters the time by making the body busy in metabolizing the food constituents. This will also increase the time interval at when the maximum drug effects can be perceived by an individual.

After the process of absorption, the amphetamine isomers get oxidized to form alpha-hydroxy-amphetamine, 4-hydroxy-amphetamine, and norephedrine. Norephedrine and 4-hydroxy-amphetamine undergo further oxidation to make 4-hydroxy-norephedrine. Alpha-hydroxy-amphetamine is converted to phenylacetone through the process of deamination. It is then broken down to form benzoic acid and hippuric acid.

About 50 % of the Adderall dose will appear in urine as amphetamine metabolites and the rest of it will be in the form of unchanged isomers of amphetamine. The quantity of drug content that gets excreted from kidneys ranges from 1- 75 %. This large variation is based on the renal functions and the ph. The excreted components include 4-hydroxy-norephedrine, 4-hydroxy-amphetamine, 4-hydroxy-phenylacetone, hippuric acid, benzoic acid, and phenylacetone. This all process is usually completed in 3 days after the final dose of Adderall.

Different types of Adderall drug tests:

There are different tests that can detect the amphetamine isomers in the blood, urine, hair, and oral fluids.

  • Urine Tests: It is the most common modality for detecting the Adderall constituents. A fresh urine sample is collected and then urinalysis is performed. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) can detect the drug even at the levels of 500 ng/ml.The lower is the ingested amount; more are the chances of having a clean urine test. It has been observed that only 19 % samples came positive after an administered dose of 5 mg. The result was 88% positive after a dose of 20 mg.
  • Hair Tests: A less-commonly used type of test. Samples of hair follicles are collected and analyzed for the traces of amphetamines. The gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) technique is utilized for this purpose. For the test, perquisites include hair devoid of chemical coloration and the length of follicles should be at least 3 cm. The test has an advantage that it has a longer detection period, up to a month.
  • Saliva Tests: It is a less used modality for testing the presence of drug. However, it becomes useful when a higher dose is suspected to be ingested by an individual. The samples of oral fluids are collected and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Another advantage is that rate of appearance of amphetamines is quicker than urinary tests. Approximately 1 to 48 hours is the time duration for detection.
  • Blood Tests:It is an uncommon method for amphetamine testing in the blood samples. There are two reasons for this, it is an invasive procedure and the time span for which the drug stays in the blood is quite short. It is about 24 hours after the last administered dose of Adderall. The only advantage is that the drug can be detected within minutes of consumption.

Tips to clear Adderall from the system faster:

There are few methods that can be implemented to rapidly eliminate the drug from the system.

  • It has been researched that greater the acidity of the urinary ph and the gastrointestinal tract, faster becomes the ability to excrete the drug out of the system. Alkaline substances must be avoided as they disrupt the acidic ph.
  • Activated charcoal can be taken immediately as it prevents the drug absorption and speeds up the Adderall elimination.
  • Calcium-d-glucarate is a very useful supplement that can enhance the detoxification and elimination of drug from the system.
  • Drink ample amount of water to increase the urinary flow rate.
  • Take regular exercise as it is one of the best methods to rapidly detoxify the body from Adderall.